Penne Ala Vodka

In Italian families sauce is a very important thing. Every family has their own recipes that get passed on for generations and generations. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, families actually share recipes with friends. At my high school graduation party my mom made four batches of vodka sauce and everyone loved it. Let me tell you, an Italian women hearing that someone loves her sauce is like a baseball player winning the World Series. But when my friend, whose mother is from Italy, told my mom her vodka sauce was better than his mom’s, I thought she died and went to heaven. Below is her recipe which came to her via a family friend.

¼ cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 shallots, sliced
3 scallions, chopped
1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream
½ cup fresh basil
½ cup vodka
1.2 cup grated cheese
1 can crushed tomatoes
Red pepper flakes

1. Saute garlic, shallots and scallion in olive oil on medium-high heat.
2. Add tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes stirring often.
3. Add vodka and seasonings, simmer for 15 minutes covered.
4. Slowly add heavy cream and then grated cheese and let cook for another 10 minutes.
5. Once sauce is cooled, place in a covered Tupperware container and let sit in refrigerator overnight.
6. Heat in saucepan and serve over pasta the next day.